Propecia and Proscar
While Proscar and Propecia are made from the same active ingredient, they each contain different amounts of it. Since Proscar comes in 5-mg tablets and Propecia is available in 1-mg tablets, the medications are licensed to treat different conditions. Propecia is licensed to treat male pattern baldness, while Proscar has been approved to treat an enlarged prostate. These medications are not interchangeable.
Propecia® is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of certain types of male pattern baldness. Proscar® is licensed to treat an enlarged prostate (also known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH). While both medications contain the same active ingredient (finasteride), they are not interchangeable.
Each drug contains a different amount of finasteride. Proscar is available in 5-mg tablets, while Propecia is available in 1-mg tablets.
Some healthcare providers may suggest cutting Proscar 5 mg tablets into fourths to use instead of Propecia to save money. This can be difficult, however, since Proscar tablets are not round but are apple-shaped. Even if you could accurately cut the tablets, this would not give you the correct dose (1.25 mg, instead of 1 mg), although doing so might save you a significant amount of money. The decision of whether to cut the medication into quarters instead of using Propecia is best made by you and your healthcare provider together.
Propecia and Proscar are not interchangeable. They contain different amounts of the same active ingredient. There is no way to accurately cut Proscar 5 mg tablets so they are equal to Propecia 1 mg tablets. You should talk to your healthcare provider about whether the cost savings may be worth the risk of getting the wrong dose.